When forecasts showed that Tropical Storm Hermine would bring eleven-foot waves and 40 mph winds to the Rockaways last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio had a message for anyone who might interpret the weather as an opportunity. “I say it to surfers. Don’t even think about it,” de Blasio warned. “It’s going to be unusually dangerous.”
Hermine was a dream for experienced surfers, and on Labor Day plenty were out there going for it, enough for some pretty close calls for full speed collisions. Instead of massive crowds, screaming kids, and nonstop lifeguard whistles, the beach and boardwalk were lined with spectators chattering in awe. Slashes, carves, sprays, barrel after barrel, all day, into the sunset until last light.
All photos and text by Allen Ying for the